Simon English: Podgy Pete and the age of the disposable phone

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The Independent Online

Outlook A blow to Blackberry maker Research In Motion, as if it didn't have trouble enough. Tony Verrier was yesterday banned from the City because the Financial Services Authority thinks he is "not a fit and proper person due to concerns over his honesty, integrity and reputation".

The "pied-piper" broker lured colleagues from Tullett Prebon to rival BGC, though why this ever became a court case passes understanding. Anyway, in the course of his "conspiracy" he is said to have lost or binned eight Blackberry phones in 12 months. That's careless, if good business for RIM.

The thing is, that's a rate of phone-churn increasingly normal in the trader world, albeit for different purposes. Landlines and work mobiles are now recorded, so if you want to discuss insider-trading opportunities or ways not to get caught insider trading you need another phone. And then you need to chuck it away pronto.

Podgy Pete and Dozy Dave, the stock-market traders still eluding the attention of the regulators despite their best efforts to get caught, say eight in 12 months is nothing to brag about. Podgy says he's had 12 in eight. Dozy claims to be 14 in six. Give us a tinkle later, they say, here's this week's number....